Fighting Mile-a-Minute in Ridgefield: Update

On Monday, this blog gave a tip of the hat here to the volunteers who recently removed the nasty, invasive Mile-a-Minute Weed at Skeetkill Creek Marsh.

By way of update, the head of the NJMC's Natural Resources Department, Dr. Ross Feltes, writes:

Mile-a-minute vine (MAM) is an invasive species that has become a significant problem for upland areas in the northeast U.S. and in the Meadowlands in particular.

Our Natural Resources staff have been working with N.J. Dept of Agriculture on biological control of this species. In recent years beetle larvae (photo above) have been released at Losen Slote and then Mill Creek Marsh for this purpose. The beetles eat only Mile-a-Minute.

According to Mark Mayer of NJDA, the beetles should be throughout the District in about three years and in five to 10 years MAM should no longer be a significant problem here.

Mike Newhouse and Gabrielle Bennett-Meany of the NJMC's Natural Resources staff have been assessing the activity of these beetles on MAM at sites as they conduct other studies and monitoring.

I asked them to stop at the Trust’s Skeetkill Marsh site Wednesday. They noted a conspicuous presence of the beetles on MAM. Though still present over many of the upland areas of the site, in their opinion the extent of MAM was much reduced relative to last year. [Thanks in part, no doubt, to the efforts of the volunteers.] 

To be effective, it is necessary for the beetle population to grow at a site over successive years.

More on the beetles and Mile-a-Minute here.



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